About this fundraiser

In 2008 I spent 4 months living and working at a non-profit in India (my mini version of the Peace Corps). Nothing could have prepared me for that experience. I was immersed in a place that was equally beautiful and tragic. The saving grace was the hope of those who had suffered injustices and the compassion of the volunteers I was surrounded by. One of those people was Bala.

In the time since I met Bala, he continued his non profit work, went on to win international awards, got married and then in 2017 his wife became pregnant with their first child. Sadly through routine prenatal appointments Bala and his wife discovered they were HIV positive. Bala is also a type 1 diabetic. Fortunately there are treatments available to stop HIV from spreading from mom to baby, but they are  very expensive. Bala and his wife welcomed a second child in 2021. As parents who are committed to the well being of their children, they have invested nearly everything they have in preventative HIV treatments for their children. The good news is their son has passed all the major milestones to be HIV negative. The bad news is that the cost of these treatments has left Bala and his wife in significant debt, and they still need to pay for preventative treatments for their daughter, Mari (pictured above) over the next two years.

When I spoke to Bala over video chat recently it was an emotional conversation. If you or anyone you know has faced a dire health situation, especially in the case of a parent child relationship, you are familiar with the sadness and humility that comes in working to save your child. Bala is a very kind and earnest person and would be forever grateful for your contribution to help save his daughter from contracting HIV.

Anything you can give is greatly appreciated.

Organized by

Michelle Peterson

Oakland, CA, USA